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[Aroid-l] Mini rant

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Mini rant
  • From: Ken Mosher <ken@spatulacity.com>
  • Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 23:32:09 -0500

Like many of us, I check eBay from time to time just to see who's offering what. I officially propose that the next person that lists any species of Amorphophallus accompanied by the words "rare bizarre" be officially prohibited from touching another tuberous aroid or showing his/her face amongst civilized society ever again.

First, they're not that bizarre. American politics are bizarre, Amorphs haven't been bizarre for a while now. Maybe vaguely unusual is OK.

Konjac, paeoniifolius and bulbifer no longer count as rare, ever, for any reason. OK, if you have one that spontaneously combusts and then bursts forth anew from it's own ashes (ssp. phoenixiodes) then one of those is rare. The way titanums are popping up these days I practically expect to find one growing in the cracks in my walkway. Call them uncommon, but not rare any more.

Some of us do the aroid thing for a profession, like our beloved Lord P., some for an educational and fun (and expensive) hobby, and some of us for fun and money (as much of both as possible, no guilt here). All of us share a love of these (vaguely unusual) plants in a growing community that we'd like to see continue to grow (pun unintended).

Let's please join the grown-ups and take the subject with a little more seriousness of intent. Have fun, it's not worth it if we don't, but if we're going to be taken seriously and spread our aroid-loving disease to as many unsuspecting innocents as possible then we need to make sure we do business scrupulously.

If you're selling a bulbil, offset or seedling, say so plainly and clearly. There are general public and newcomers who can't tell the difference. If you're calling something "huge," please make sure that it really is big for that species. A 6" konjac or paeoniifolius isn't huge. The tuber Scott sold was huge. There's a difference between RARE and rarely offered. In my opinion the words weird and bizarre are just never appropriate. It's fine to get creative in sales text, but it ought to be objective at the same time.

Some of you may consider me a complete wanker for writing this, but over the last month I've seen so much that's inappropriate that I just can't shut up any more. I'm sure a bunch of you will agree with me, too.

<end of rant>


P.S. This wasn't aimed at any particular seller. I was making comments about numerous listings by many sellers that I've come across this season.

P.P.S. I've also seen many listings that were accurate and unembellished, some of which were also accompanied by compelling treatises on the joys of growing Amorphs. In my humble opinion this is what eBay is all about.
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